Locks of Love

October 21, 2010

It seems that locks aren’t just simply used to keep property secure from theft and vandalism any more. For decades now a custom has slowly been creeping across the world whereby loving, romantic, and sometimes superstitious couples have decided to write messages on padlocks, attach them to certain landmarks in specific areas - more often than not railings and fences - and then throw away the key. The practice, as well as symbolising a couple’s unending love for each other, is in some countries thought to bring good luck to a relationship.

Below are some amazing examples.

Pecs, Hungary

Pecs, Hungary
Image Source: Hindrik Sijens

Above: The famous lock fence of Pécs in Hungary, where the practice is thought to have begun, in Europe at least, back in the 1980s. Area officials were quickly forced to designate this particular spot ‘love lock friendly’ in a bid to curb the rampant placement of lock in other areas when the trend took off.

Moscow, Russia

Moscow Russia
Image Source: Stephan Mantler

Above: The unique love lock trees of Moscow, found on the city’s Luzhkov Bridge. The majority of these locks are placed by newlyweds, as the practice is thought to bring good luck.

Seoul, South Korea

Seoul, South Korea
Image Source: Larry ‘n Jill

Above: Literally thousands of lovers’ locks can be seen attached to the fencing that surrounds Mt. Namsan’s N Seoul Tower in Central Seoul. There even exists a special bin in which to place keys following the accumulation of hundreds around the fence.

Cologne, Germany

Cologne, Germany
Image Source: Ben Heine

Above: The 406 metre Hohenzollern Bridge in Cologne; a structure that has been slowly covered in padlocks since the romantic trend reached the city in 2008, much to the annoyance of local government.

Korakuen, Japan

Korakuen, Japan
Image Source: David Gee

Above: A colourful wall of locks, all attached by couples, can be found in an amusement park in Korakuen, Japan. Korakuen is one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, and is located in Tokyo.

Wroclaw, Poland

Wroclaw, Poland
Image Source: Maciej Kielan

Above: A stunning view of Tumski Bridge in the Polish city of Wroclaw. The bridge has recently become a love-lock-laden site.

Montevideo, Uruguay

Montevideo, Uruguay
Image Source: Natassa

Above: A fountain in Montevideo, Uruguay. Attached is a plaque which reads,”The legend of this young fountain tells us that if a lock with the initials of two people in love is placed in it, they will return together to the fountain and their love will be forever locked.”

Guam, USA

Guam, USA
Image Source: chotda

Above: The love-locks of Puntan dos Amantes (Two Lovers’ Point) in Guam, a picturesque and incredibly romantic spot that overlooks the ocean.

Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy
Image Source: hhj1

Above: The famous padlock-covered lamppost of The Milvian Bridge in Rome, Italy. Since 2006, lovers have attached initialled locks to the post and then thrown the keys into the Tiber river as a sign of their love.

Huangshan, China

Huangshan, China
Image Source: StevieB44

Above: Just one of the many chain fences of Yellow Mountain in China; nearly all of which have been slowly covered in love-locks by romantic locals and tourists alike – particularly newlyweds.

Odessa, Ukraine

Odessa, Ukraine
Image Source: Damian Corrigan

Above: Over the past few years Teshin Bridge in Odessa has become home to hundreds of lovers’ locks. For the curious, ‘Teshin’ translates as ‘Mother-in-Law’.

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic
Image Source: incredibleholg

Above: A small pedestrian bridge that crosses the Vlatva river in Prague, covered in padlocks.

61 Responses to “Locks of Love”

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  2. This is absolutely amazing. I have never heard about this before. That is a lot of metal hanging about in odd places. It doesn’t seem to be prevalent in the US as indicated by the pictures. Thanks for the education.

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  6. Gotta lock up that love, too cool.

  7. I’ve been to the ones in prague, they are sweet.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jordanloehr/sets/72157625264195896/

  8. [...] [...]

  9. You won’t do that in South Africa, they will steel it and sell it for scrap metal. It would have worked in the OLD SA

  10. This isn’t popular in the US because it looks like absolute trash. Get a lock cutter and make some money from the recycling man and do the world a favor with a clean looking area.

  11. Cinque Terre, Italy also has a ‘love lock’ wall. check it out!

  12. All this metal should be recycled and put to good use.

  13. You don’t have to go to Italy, Russia or even Guam: try Lovelock, Nevada!

  14. Well, there are a lot of “sleeping” chastity lovers, however that is quite a collection, even makes me think about relocking after 5 years of being free !

  15. [...] finally, locks of [...]

  16. I think it’s colorful and cheery on fencing. Didn’t do much for the lamp post, however.

  17. Jeremy, and in the process shatter the hopes and dreams of 2 newlyweds for every few cents you might get for the scrap metal per lock? Just not worth it in my estimation. I like the idea myself.

  18. nice pictures, want to post on facebook? search http://www.facebook.com/pages/amorchetticom/160110304022426
    and update your places and photos please
    regards
    amorchetti – my love padlock

  19. A great place to sit for a few hours with a set of lockpicks

  20. I love the fact that people still do this. my great-grandmother went to Italy and her and my great-grandfather have one somewhere, I’m dying to go and find it.

  21. [...] cerraban un candado alrededor de un farol y tiraban la llave al río. Pronto la idea se extendió a otras ciudades de Europa y del mundo; incluso llegó a la vecina Montevideo. [...]

  22. I’ve seen the one in Poland and it is one of the most romantic things I have ever seen because the bridge goes over to an island that has a bunch of cathedrals and constant weddings…

  23. This reminds me of when I found an old rusty padlock locked to the wire railing of a shoddy steel bridge across a creek on the beach. I tried to pick the lock, but the mechanism was too rusty to even try to manipulate.

  24. I SO WANNA START THIS!!!!!! i haven’t seen it here in the UK. I might just put a lock on a fence and see what happens :D

  25. This is actually a timeless idea in Western culture, as well as Eastern. Recall the “chastity belt” and the locks on the doors (and the oak tree) of the Odyssey, and the Claddagh (sp) ring. Very touching, very universal. I believe it is what seperates us from most animals, the idea of fidelity and union and bond.

  26. There’s another place like this on a coastal walkway in Cinque Terre, Italy

  27. the locks of love in Cinque Terre, Italy are breath taking. They are along the path that you hike from one village to the next and they go on for quite a distance, it is breath taking. over and over again, when you turn a corner there are more and more. amazing!

  28. I loved these photos, it is so romantic. I have to find a place for my fiance and I to do this…:)

  29. How awful. Sorry to see that love cannot be thought to be forever with out ruining the landscape or historic place for those yet to come.

  30. All because of a speech impediment.

    What Eros – god of love – tried to say was:

    LOTS of love.

  31. So when it all goes to hell and they get divorced does someone go back and remove the lock?

  32. theres also one of these on a bridge in paris just outside of the Louvre.

  33. This is cute. Those saying it should be used for scrap, i bet you’re single and never been in love. You’d never see this here in the UK. It’d get robbed so fast!

  34. Thanks. it is romantic and i like usa and russia .

  35. i think this tradition is beautiful. i would love to have it brought to the public in DE. it is NOT trash. it is an exulting promise.

  36. I’ll bet the “tradition” was started by a company who makes padlocks, eager to find a way to boost sales :P

  37. Came in here to post about the wall in Cinque Terre.
    http://oldbroadabroad.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/24-8blogM.jpg

  38. left out one in Florence, Italy on the Ponte Vecchio

  39. I absolutely love this pictures!

  40. IN PARIS, love locks can be found on a small bridge, just behind Notre Dame Cathedral: Pont de l’Archevêché.

    @Janet : come on! Gates, grates, and lamposts are not historical sites… And locks are not ruining anything!!

  41. I hadn’t ever heard of these until I noticed them on a bridge over the Seine in Paris. A really cool idea.

  42. I heart this. This will get around.

    Coming to North America soon. I bet a million bucks on it.

  43. “This isn’t popular in the US because it looks like absolute trash.”

    Because the States are so clean, pristine, and well manicured??
    I think this is a very lovely gesture made by couples. I have some friends who got married in Guam right at the spot where the picture above is taken. They were among the first to do this when the tradition had started.

    And by the way Guam is a territory of the USA.

  44. I got married at two lovers point in Guam 4 years ago, four years later we are no longer in Guam but are still happily married. I hope to travel back for an anniversary one year and see if our padlock is still attached to that railing.

  45. Mt Kiera (Wollongong), just south of Sydney Australia has started to be a place for this (sorry don’t have photos).

  46. People have started doing this on the Brooklyn Bridge :)

  47. you forgot Lovelock, Nevada

  48. I’m disappointed by all the people claiming that these locks ‘ruin’ the landscape. They are touching expressions of people’s love for one another and make beautiful, interactive public art.

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  51. My boyfriend took me to London in San Valentine´s day! And we put the first lock on one of the silver bridges from where you can see the Big Ben and the London Eye, I hope it ends up looking like this one day! =) I went to visit today and there were already two small locks attached to ours! Im so exited!!!! ^^

  52. I’m amazed !

  53. These are amazing, I havn’t heard of these “love-locks” before, especially like the lamppost covered :) Thank you for sharing.

  54. What a waste of locks!

  55. Great pictures and thanks for the blog!

    I just posted something about the Wroclaw ‘Lock Bridge’ myself, here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wisiasstory/wisias-story/posts/144624 and then research brought me to you, so I linked to this blog (hope you don’t mind). I had no idea there were so many versions around the world.

    Thanks again.

    =pb=

  56. How absolutely breathtakingly beautiful

  57. [...] like the ones in Seoul, South Korea and Pecs, Hungary. You can see more love padlock areas here. They had a small section here as well, but there weren’t as many compared to the picture of [...]

  58. [...] are called “love locks” — and, from what the blogosphere tells me here, here, and here, they are put there by newlyweds for luck in love. Many of them have initials [...]

  59. Thank you for every other informative blog. Where else may just I am getting that kind of info written in such a perfect means? I have a undertaking that I am simply now running on, and I have been at the glance out for such info.

  60. there is one behind the notre dame in paris!

  61. Left a padlock on a pedestrian bridge in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
    It’s a lovely place not mentioned here but you can youtube it at “Most milosci, Bydgoszcz” :-)

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